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NIJC has a new Chicago address at 111 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60604 and a new email domain at

A Campaign to Reunite Families and Communities & End Unjust Deportations

For decades, the U.S. immigration system has deported thousands of people, permanently separating them from family and community. In some cases, the deported had strong legal grounds for remaining in the United States. In others, the government abused its discretion, imposing detention and deportation in grossly unfair ways. The unjustly deported, who now seek to return and reunite with loved ones, include U.S. military veterans, civil rights activists, former DACA recipients and a disproportionate number of Black and Brown immigrants. Across the world, journalists, filmmakers, politicians and activists are calling on the U.S. to redress the injustices of its immigration system – to give the unjustly deported A Chance to Come Home. Watch the Chance to Come Home campaign launch and download a printable summary of the campaign.

Watch Now: Chance to Come Home townhall and film screening in Los Angeles

Screenshot of panelists on stage at the Chance to Come Home event in Los Angeles in May 2024
Organized by the National Immigrant Justice Center, UCLA Center for Immigration Law & Policy, Arizona State University’s Sidney Poitier New American Film School, and Borderlands Studio. Event supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

#ChancetoComeHome Updates

Uplift news and stories of unjustly deported people seeking to reunite with their families and communities.


Meet 10 people seeking a Chance to Come Home

These courageous advocates represent the thousands of U.S. community members who have been deported from the United States. The lasting harm of their separations from community and family, and the injustices that led to their deportations, emphasize why the Biden administration must create a fair and effective system for people to apply to return to the United States after deportation.

Close-up headshot photo of a woman named Vanessa. She is standing on the beach and looking at the camera with a slight smile. She has long dark hair and a black and white collared shirt on. In the background you can see the ocean waves.

Welcome home, Vanessa!

Entrepreneur and champion for son living with disability


Close-up photo of the face of Samuel, who is looking calmly at the camera. He is wearing a collared shirt that is just visible, and the background is plain white.

Samuel Anthony

Youth Mentor, Brother, Son

Photo of a woman named Tina, who is smiling at the camera. She is wearing a tan blazer and turtle neck and has a sleek short bob haircut with bangs. Pink, white, and green flower garlands make up the background.

Tina Hamdi

Teacher, mother, survivor


Close-up photo of Carlos smiling at the camera. He is wearing a baseball cap backwards and white t-shirt. In the background is a blue sky and blurred overhead view of buildings and trees.

Carlos Sauceda

Advocate, mentor, husband

Close-up photo of a man named Goura. He is looking at the camera with a somber expression. He wears glasses with thick dark rims and a you can just see the blue collar of his shirt. The background is plain white.

Goura Ndiaye

Devoted father and entrepreneur, living in exile with disability


Close-up photo of the face of Leonel, who is looking calmly at the camera. He has closely cropped dark hair and is standing in front of a white door.

Leonel Pinilla

Husband, Father, Breadwinner

Close-up photo of a woman named Assia, who is smiling at the camera. Her face is framed by curly brown hair, and she is wearing a bright blue shirt. The background is plain white.

Assia Serrano

Leader, Mother, Survivor


Photo of Juan Carlos, looking at the camera with a calm smile. He has close-cropped dark hair and is wearing a gray shirt and a cross on a cord around his neck. The background is bright teal green.

Juan Carlos Romero Escobar

Oldest brother, devoted son, proudly LGBTQ 

Close-up black and white headshot of Paul, who is looking at the camera with a neutral expression. He is wearing a wide-collared jacket over a light-colored collared shirt. The background is white.

Paul Pierrilus

Brother, Son, New Yorker


People We've Welcomed Home

Read more about unjustly deported people who have returned home

Since 2021, when NIJC first published a white paper calling on the Biden administration to create a central process to allow unjustly deported individuals a chance to come home, six people featured in the paper have had the opportunity to return to their communities in the United States. Their experiences exemplify the harmful impact that punitive immigration laws and policies have on U.S. families and communities, and why the U.S. immigration system must include meaningful remedies to correct unjust and wrong outcomes. Their stories celebrate the resilience of immigrant communities, even as many continue to face barriers to permanent legal relief.

A group of men 14 men and women gather together holding two "Welcome Home" banners. One of the flags is decorated with the U.S. flag and also states "We Missed You So Much"

A Roadmap to Bring Home the Unjustly Deported

Read NIJC’s recommendations

In April 2021, NIJC released Chance to Come Home: A Roadmap to Bring Home the Unjustly Deported, a white paper proposing a central system, using existing immigration laws and procedures, that would provide unjustly deported people a meaningful opportunity to apply to return. NIJC released this white paper in support of the growing call among communities in the United States and abroad for the Biden administration to bring home the unjustly deported. NIJC provides a concrete proposal for a centralized mechanism to consider post-deportation requests in an efficient yet individualized manner. Most importantly, the white paper makes the case for this process by documenting the harms deportation and separation from loved ones imposes on immigrant families and their communities. The paper also shares the stories of 11 unjustly deported people, six of whom have returned home to reunite with their families and communities since the paper’s release.

Image of the cover of NIJC's 2021 white paper titled "A Chance to Come Home: A Roadmap to Bring Home the Unjustly Deported"

Lawmakers Championing #ChancetoComeHome

NIJC thanks the growing number of members of Congress who are supporting the policy ask at the heart of the Chance to Come Home campaign. The campaign has received congressional support from lawmakers including U.S. Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Alex Padilla of California, as well as U.S. Representatives Adriano Espaillat of New York, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, David Trone of Maryland & Lou Correa of California. They join 10 unjustly deported advocates and NIJC in calling on the Biden administration to set up a central process to review requests for return from unjustly deported people seeking to reunite with their loved ones.

Read more in The Hill about congressional calls for a Chance to Come Home.

Sign the Petition

Campaign Partners

Thank you to these organizations providing legal representation, advocacy, and other support for the people whose stories are highlighted in this campaign.

Ohio Immigrant Alliance | National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild

ACLU of Northern California | Neighborhood Defender Service (New York) | Office of the Appellate Defender | Immigrant Defense Project | Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights | Haitian Bridge Alliance | University of Georgia School of Law’s Community Help Clinic | Cleary Gottlieb | Bronx Defenders | Law Office of Matthew Bray | Perkins Coie LLP | California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice | Just Counsel LLC | Post Deportation Human Rights Project | Immigrant Rights Clinic Washington and Lee University School of Law | University of Maryland Carey School of Law Immigration Clinic | New York University Law School Immigrant Rights Clinic | Beyond Legal Aid